Rand Paul Says Speaker Johnson Has “Lost All His Principles”

Rich Koele / shutterstock.com
Rich Koele / shutterstock.com

There is growing tension in the House of Representatives. And no, I’m not talking about between Democrats and Republicans. Instead, it’s between conservatives and House Speaker Mike Johnson.

As a Louisiana conservative and a man who recently replaced a speaker who didn’t satisfy the needs of the Republican Party, you would think Johnson would be doing everything in his power to loyally serve his party. However, according to Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, that’s not at all what’s happening.

Paul, as a member of the US Senate, knows that the bulk of the Republican Party’s power currently lies in Johnson, as head of the House of Representatives. The House is currently enjoying a conservative majority, which makes Johnson one of the most influential men in the country.

And yet, as Paul says, his time so far as speaker doesn’t look any different than when the Democrats were in charge.

At the moment, his main beef with Johnson is over the passing of a two-year renewal of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. This passed on Friday in the House 273-147. As NBC News reported, 126 Republicans and 147 Democrats supported it.

If you aren’t familiar with Section 702, it basically allows government agencies like the CIA and FBI to spy on foreigners overseas without a warrant. However, when American citizens communicate with those foreigners, the spying doesn’t stop, meaning those agencies are then legally spying on Americans.

Naturally, conservatives like Paul have a problem with this. And he believes Johnson should, too. Furthermore, he says Johnson used to. But suddenly, or basically ever since he gained his current seat of power, he’s had a change of heart.

As Paul said in a recent interview with “Sunday Morning Futures” on Fox News, Johnson has “completely changed and lost all his principles on the idea that we shouldn’t spy on Americans without a warrant.”

To him, it’s hypocritical, at the very least.

Of course, Johnson says differently.

He admits that, yes, he once held the same view as Paul on the idea. however, that was before he was allowed to sit on confidential briefings from the FBI and get “the other perspective.” He says he now better understands the “necessity of section 702 of FISA and how important it is for national security, and they gave me a different perspective.”

But Paul isn’t buying it.

He also isn’t happy that thanks to this bill and others (such as Biden’s March 23 spending bill), the national deficit will rise even more this year. And it’s all thanks to Johnson’s efforts as Speaker, Paul says.

“The deficit this year will be $1.5 to $2 trillion, and that’s Mike Johnson’s bill. He put it forward. He supported it with a minority of Republicans with a majority of Democrats. This is not using the power of the purse. This is abdicating the power of the purse.”

And Paul isn’t alone in his criticism of Johnson. Plenty of other Republicans aren’t happy with his leadership thus far, either.

That alone should be a bit of a wake-up call for Johnson. After all, the last guy in his seat was ousted for the same exact reasons.